I like better what Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said before the Middies took on (and beat) Missouri in the Texas Bowl yesterday: "We're going to have 11 guys running to the football. We're like 11 hyenas - we're going to take down an elephant sooner or later."
It's Niumatalolo who countermanded the imperative, winning isn't everything; it's the only thing, by telling an interviewer that football, even when Navy plays Army, is only a game. After the Midshipmen victory in this year's edition, he was overcome with emotion; and he said: "I have great, great respect for these men, and this is just a football game. I mean, that’s all it is, but there’s a bigger picture, and I couldn’t be prouder of our young men [meaning the players for Army as well as Navy]." You can see and hear this brief interview here.
I looked through the recaps from yesterday's bowl games to find other vibrant coach quotes but didn't come up with much:
- "I was embarrassed for the team that we didn't go out and do a better job as far as for the fan base."
- "They came ready to play. There are no excuses for the loss."
- "I don't think we played as smart as we needed to."
- "We got gassed; we got tired" (by a defensive end).
- "I wouldn't say the Pony Express" (by a quarterback).
- "Whatever it takes, we have to keep these chains rolling" (another quarterback, reporting what he told the team during the second half).
- "For whatever reason, we didn't play well today,"
- "We were never involved for whatever reason."
- "But for whatever reason, we were not ready to go at the beginning of the game."
- "For whatever reason, we just haven't gotten it done."
- "It's just one of those things where they don't want to give us credit for whatever reason."
- "The '09 year, starting in January with the playoff game, for whatever reason it just hasn't been good football-wise for me,"